Suzie Leblanc, soprano
Elinor Frey, violoncello
Lorenzo Ghielmi, harpsichord
Esteban La Rotta, theorbo
FIORÈ centers on a unique, anonymous collection of music featuring the cello, held in a small archive in Como, Italy. This manuscript may contain music that ranks among the first works that feature the cello. The sonatas, brilliant and lyrical, are likely written by the Milanese cellist A.M. Fiorè while the Italian arias weave expressive cello lines with beautiful sung texts, each musing on longing, torment, sorrow, and idealized love. The program draws upon the passion for research and commitment to exploration of the musicians, Suzie Leblanc, Elinor Frey, and Esteban La Rotta.
Soprano Suzie LeBlanc is one of the most sought after early music sopranos of her generation, as well as a gifted interpreter of lieder, French mélodies, Acadian repertoire and contemporary music. Concerts engagements have led her around the world, as well as to over 50 recordings with the world’s leading early music ensembles. On the opera stage, she performed for De Nederlandse Opera, Festival de Beaune, Opéra de Montréal, Boston Early Music Festival, Tanglewood and Early Music Vancouver. Ms. Leblanc’s engagements in 2013/2014 include a world premiere by Peter Togni, Debussy"s Pelleas et Melisande, Carissimi's Jephte with Tafelmusik, recitals with Alexander Weimann and the Paciﬁc Baroque Orchestra and songs on the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Her recent album, Canadian settings of poems by Elizabeth Bishop by Canadian composers Hatzis, Plant, MacLean and Doolittle, was released fall of 2013, along with a documentary of her walk in Newfoundland, following Bishop's footsteps and 1932 journal. The recipient of four honorary doctorates for her artistic achievements and research, she also played the lead role in the award winning ﬁlm Lost Song (Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008). With Alexander Weimann and Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, she founded Le Nouvel Opéra, which gives workshops in Baroque Opera at the Orford Arts Centre and produces chamber operas.
Elinor Frey, five-string cello
Lorenzo Ghielmi, fortepiano or harpsichord
The royal courts of mid-eighteenth century Berlin were lively crossroads for some of the greatest musicians of the time. Court musicians and visitors were famous virtuosos performing music full of expressivity and fantasy. In Berlin Sonatas, the sonatas of J.C.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, C.F. Abel, Johann Kirnberger, and C.H. Graun each demonstrate the language of Sensibility (Empfindsamkeit): an expression of sadness, anger, wrath, joy, love, and praise. In their music, emotions are fleeting and instantaneous and, above all, the beauty of melody is emphasized. In Berlin in particular (where several court musicians were students of J.S. Bach), sonatas for cello seem liberated, natural, and comprehensible when played on a instrument fit with a fifth string. The five-string cello also allows for the performance of violin caprices by Franz Benda. The works of Berlin Sonatas achieve a great quality of expression of the kind that helped make Berlin composers famous, especially for their rapturous Adagios and tuneful Allegros, each leaving ample space for the performer’s creativity.
Lorenzo Ghielmi has devoted many years to the study and interpretation of music from the Renaissance and the Baroque as organist, harpsichordist and conductor. He gives concerts throughout Europe, in Japan and in America, and he has made many recordings for radio (BBC, WDR, MDR, Radio France, NHK) and for an extensive discography. His recordings of Bruhns, Bach, Handel concertos and the concertos by Haydn for organ and orchestra have been awarded the "Diapason d’or". Ghielmi Lorenzo is the author of a book on Nicolaus Bruhns, and several studies on the art of the organ in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as well as on the performance of the works of Bach.
He teaches organ, harpsichord and ensemble music at the Civica Scuola di Musica di Milano, in the Istituto Musica Antica. Since 2006 he has been Professor of Organ at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. He is organist of the Ahrend organ in the Basilica San Simpliciano, Milan, where he has performed the complete organ works of JS Bach. He has served on many juries of international organ competitions and has supervised the construction of several modern organs, including the monumental instrument in Tokyo Cathedral. Lorenzo Ghielmi is the director of the ensemble "La Divina Armonia”.
Elinor Frey, Baroque cello
La Voce del Violoncello offers a journey though the curious inventions of the first great cellist-composers of Italy. In the Baroque era, Italian cellist-composers contributed some of the most original and celebrated Baroque works for the instrument. Dall’Abaco, Supriani, Vitali, Gabrielli, Ruvo, Colombi, and Galli have each written cello music that is charming, sumptuous, and captivating. La Voce del Violoncello, uniquely reveals the breadth of solo cello works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and is an important contribution to understanding the origins of unaccompanied cello music from before and during the time of Bach when Italians also wrote remarkable solo cello works. This program is the result of research and performances that have grown out of the support of grants from the US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship Program, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Elinor Frey, 5-string Baroque cello
Today, the five-string cello is treated as an exotic and rarely-played cousin of the standard cello. However, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it was simply one of the many instruments used in the family of bass violins, and was particularly important for virtuosic sonatas and solos. The program centres around the five-string cello’s most enduring work, Bach’s Sixth Solo Suite (BWV 1012). Each movement reveals the instrument’s incredible versatility and remarkable colors. Elinor Frey explores these qualities further through her own transcriptions from the violin repertoire and a newly commissioned work by composer Scott Godin based on “O Vis Aeternitatis” of Hildegard Von Bingen and the new work "with concord of sweet sounds" by Isaiah Ceccarelli.
J.S. BACH (1685 – 1750): Suite no. 6 for violoncello solo in D major [BWV 1012]
Isaiah CECCARELLI (b. 1978): with concord of sweet sounds (2015)
Franz BENDA (1709-17860: Caprice no. 16, Progressive etude No. 25
J.P. TELEMANN (1681-1767): Fantasia no. 12 in A minor
Scott Edward GODIN (b. 1970): Guided By Voices (2014-15)
Booking agent: Claudia Berardi, Agence Station Bleue
For more information or to ask for an interview, contact / Pour plus d’informations ou pour une demande d’entrevue:
Katherine Fournier, Press Relations